Water availability and sustainability has become an increasingly important topic in many parts of the world. Growing economies, population, and superimposed climate change are putting increasing pressure, and in this context, shrinking and uncertain freshwater supplies pose particular concerns in shared freshwater basins. Sweden has for long taken a keen interest in international water management and water governance issues. It has been a key supporter of water management programs in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. In addition, Sweden has been at the forefront in developing key studies with a focus among others on water management as a global public good and international water bodies as a source of cooperation and conflict prevention.
On 25 February 2014, the UNESCO and the Government of Sweden signed an agreement for the establishment of a new UNESCO Category II Centre on International Water Cooperation. The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) hosts this first UNESCO Centre in Sweden in close partnership with the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University and School of Global Studies at Gothenburg University. Within this UNESCO Centre, the research school has been established at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
The research school aims to address water cooperation in its broadest sense with a primary focus on water for peace and development. The School by critically analyzing the existing research on the linkage between water scarcity and international conflict and cooperation aims to move the research front and thereby improve our understanding of the mechanisms behind water-induced peace. The research objective necessitates an interdisciplinary approach and collaborative understanding of the water management and its contribution to peace and development.